At least one person has died and 30 have been injured due to turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight that had left London and was heading to the Asian country.

The plane, a Boeing 777-300ER, had taken off from Heathrow last Monday at 10:38 p.m., as reported by several British media. The emergency situation was declared on flight SQ321 with an hour and a half to go before arriving at the destination.

According to data from the FlightRadar portal, which records flights around the world, the Singapore Airlines plane suffered a sudden loss of altitude for 4 minutes, descending from 37,000 to 31,000 feet (from 11,200 meters to 9,400 meters). , when he apparently managed to stabilize.

One passenger died, Kittipong Kittikachorn, director of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, told Reuters. Eighteen people have been hospitalized and 12 are being treated in hospitals, Singapore Airlines said.

A passenger who was on the flight told Reuters the incident involved the sensation of rising and then falling. “Suddenly the plane started to tilt and there were tremors, so I started to prepare for what was happening. Suddenly there was a very dramatic fall, so everyone who was sitting and without a seat belt was immediately thrown towards the roof,” said Dzafran Azmir, 28.

“Some people hit their heads on the luggage cabins above and dented them, hit the places where the lights and masks are and went through them,” he said.

The FlightRadar 24 spokesperson believes, regarding the data showing a drop in altitude, that “our initial thought is that the turbulence event is prior to the standard descent from 37,000 to 31,000 feet. “That appears to be simply a flight level change in preparation for landing.”

The Boeing 777-300ER plane with 211 passengers and 18 crew was headed to Singapore when it made the emergency landing, the airline said. On the list of passengers there are two Spanish nationals, although the airline has not specified their state of health.

Singapore news outlet CNA published blurry images provided by readers that it said appeared to be from the flight. They showed anxious passengers clinging to seats, oxygen masks hanging from above, personal items strewn across the aisle and rubbish strewn on the floor of the cabin crew area.

Suvarnabhumi Airport said the plane requested an emergency landing at 3:35 p.m. local time and landed at 3:51 p.m. The uninjured passengers disembarked and another plane will take them forward. The airline said it landed at 3:45.

Turbulence-related airline accidents are the most common type, according to a 2021 study by the National Transportation Safety Board.

From 2009 to 2018, the US agency found that turbulence accounted for more than a third of reported airline accidents and most resulted in one or more serious injuries but no damage to the aircraft.

Singapore Airlines, which is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading airlines and is a benchmark for much of the industry, has had no major incidents in recent years.

His last accident causing casualties was a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles via Taipei, where he crashed on October 31, 2000 into construction equipment at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport after attempting to take off from the wrong runway. The accident killed 83 of the 179 people on board. Singapore Airlines has had seven accidents according to Aviation Safety Network records.